Photo from adaptivescientist.com
By Jack Yu
1. When The Duty Phone Rings
An RA’s duty period extends overnight. Most people call at midnight because they get locked out after they come back from parties. Every time the phone rings, the ringtone feels like claws scratching on your nerves, even when it is not your duty time.
2. It Does Not Matter What You Are Doing When You Pick Up The Phone
It does not matter if you were eating food, sleeping, or even showering, by the time you pick up the duty phone, you have to be professional: “Hey RA on duty, how can I help you?”
3. Those 3 AM Phone Calls
You stay up late just in case residents who come back late and get locked out will call you. Finally, no one calls you at 2 AM so you fall asleep. An hour later, the phone rings, and you have to get dressed to go help them out. What is worse is that when you come back, you can not fall asleep anymore.
4. Programs That You Prepared For Weeks But No One Shows Up
Every RA gets excited about his/her first program. However, when the program actually happens, the number of heads that show up smashes the RA’s hearts into pieces. The second time around, they still hold some hope that people will show up, but eventually gets disappointed again. After a while, they do not expect that much anymore.
5. Your Boss Tells You That S/He Is Going To Check Your Bulletin Board When You Have Not Put Anything Up
You are scrolling through Facebook on your phone, in bed and at night, when your Residence Hall Director messages you that your bulletin board is due tomorrow. Except, you have not even started. The panic is no less than the stress you have before a Bio 203 midterm.
6. When You See Those Door Decorations On The Floor
You spent 3 hours cutting out those door decorations, writing down all of the residents’ names and finally putting them up. But an hour later you see some of them are on the floor and RIPPED!!!
7. The Hallway After A Party Night
You think your room is messy? No, the hallway after a party night is messier. Not only are the door decorations all over the floor, but so are those flyers on your bulletin boards, condoms and red cups.
8. When You Try To Figure Out Where The Weed Smell Is Coming From
When you are walking around, you smell weed. You then lay on the floor and try to sniff through the door gaps to figure out where the smell is coming from. Sometimes, the resident might open their door, and you have to stand up and awkwardly say hi to them– it is the most embarrassing experience ever.
9. Dealing With Roommate Conflicts
Before you really start your RA duties, you imagine that you can handle all of the roommate conflicts peacefully. However, when you actually see them arguing, you might think you are attending a live Jerry Springer show (a tabloid talk show that airs people fighting, sometimes physically, verbally or both and never truly resolving the issue at hand.)
10. When You Try To Do Work During Office Hour But Residents Keep Coming In For Help
People think RAs do not have obligations, and they are just enjoying free housing for no reason. Think about having a paper due tomorrow and you try to finish it during your duty time, but people keep coming into your office for help. There is nothing more hopeless than seeing only two completed lines in your word document after a duty night, but you need three pages worth.